What Does it Mean to Be a Safe Person to Talk To?

What Does it Mean to Be a Safe Person to Talk To?

What Does it Mean to Be a Safe Person to Talk To?

I was facing one of the most trying times of my life and needed someone with whom I could talk. 

I prayed through it, but I still felt the need to hold a conversation with someone. I needed a safe person. How could I know when I found one? How can I know if I am one for someone else? 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

<strong>What Exactly Is a Safe Person?&nbsp;</strong>

What Exactly Is a Safe Person? 

A safe person is an individual others seek out when they need help, such as guidance, protection, and wisdom. A safe person makes herself available during the critical things, as well as the minor things.

An abused spouse needs a safe person in whom to trust with the deepest secrets of their marriage, but so does someone facing everyday marital issues. 

Abused children need a safe person with whom they can share the abuse they’re suffering at home or in the school, but so does the child who simply needs an encouraging word. 

Someone suffering from mental health issues needs a safe person in whom they can confide. Likewise, someone who's feeling sad or blue needs a safe presence as well.

A sick person needs to be able to cry when they're facing a scary diagnosis freely.

A safe person is simply someone who feels empathy. 

When I needed a safe person, I reached out to my sister, Daisey, one of the most compassionate people I know. 

Daisey has been a safe person for my brothers and me and is always there when we need to talk. In her, we find a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, compassion, understanding, wisdom, and the emotional support we need. With Daisey, we don't have to worry about judgment or gossip because we know whatever we share with Daisey stays with her. Daisey is a lot like our mother. Through my mother’s and sister’s examples, I’ve learned how to be a safe person. 

Keep reading if you’d like to learn how to be a safe person for others to come to. 

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

<strong>Be Spiritual</strong>

Be Spiritual

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)

When people seek us out as a safe person, they need someone spiritual who can help them and restore them. They don’t need someone carnal or operating in the flesh. Spiritual people should be able to share the will of God on a variety of issues. Spiritual people will point others to Jesus and the Bible. If you desire to be a safe person, be spiritual.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

<strong>No Judgment</strong>

No Judgment

For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2)

Safe people listen without judgment. They don’t put you down or condemn you. While they may not agree with what’s being said, they listen with hearts full of love. Listening without judgment is difficult when the topic is a touchy or controversial subject. As Christians, despite our opinions on homosexuality, fornication, idolatry, etc., we still must listen and be a safe person because it could be through us that the speaker finds and accepts Christ. Judgment and condemnation will push people away from Christ instead of drawing them to Him. 

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

Confidentiality

Confidentiality

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. (Proverbs 11:13)

Being a safe person to talk to means we keep the topic confidential. There’s nothing worse than hearing your most private thoughts and conversations have been shared with others. If you want to be a safe person to whom others come for advice or a listening ear, ensure your discussions are confidential. This includes not sharing your conversations with your significant other. I find it disturbing when women tell their boyfriends or husbands things that were shared with them in confidence. I was in a women's meeting one time when some of the women said to us that they tell their husbands everything. I said, "Well, I know not to tell you any of my business." And I never did. If I wanted their husbands to know, I would have told them myself. 

Be Available

One of the most essential attributes of a safe person is their availability. Some people don't make themselves available. If you want to be a safe person to talk to, make sure people know you're available. Be approachable. Let people know you're there for them if they ever need to talk.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Shurkin Son

<strong>Build Relationships</strong>

Build Relationships

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)

In addition to being available, a safe person is successful in building relationships. No one is going to reach out to you when they need to talk if they don’t have a relationship with you. So, build relationships. Invite people out for a meal. When people are comfortable with you, they will open up and seek you out as a safe person when they need to talk. 

Photo Credit: © Unsplash

<strong>Be Personable</strong>

Be Personable

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

No one will open up to a rude, abrasive person. Therefore, safe people are personable. They're friendly, gentle, kind, and empathetic. They love people, and it shows. If you want to be a safe person, be personable. 

Listen

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. (James 1:19)

Trying to solve problems is one of my biggest challenges. I've learned that sometimes, people want someone to listen. They don't necessarily want your opinion, advice, or help. They want a listening ear. Safe people listen intently. They don't allow distractions. If you're going to be a safe person, learn to be a good listener and then make a point to be an active listener. Being a good listener means truly hearing and seeing a person and what they’re going through—not being distracted by what you want to say next. 

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

Tell the Truth

Tell the Truth

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. (Colossians 3:9-10)

Safe people tell the truth even when the truth is painful to give or receive. No one wants to pour their heart out to someone only to have that person lie to them. One of the best ways to tell the truth is by sharing God's timeless wisdom found throughout the Bible. Safe people rely upon God's word when sharing advice or opinions.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

<strong>Make Referrals for Professional Help</strong>

Make Referrals for Professional Help

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6)

No matter how accepting and personable we are, no matter if we're great listeners, there will come a time when the subject is outside our expertise. We must humble ourselves and know when a person needs professional help. Perhaps you can refer them to a pastor, licensed Christian counselor or therapist, or mental health expert. A safe person wants to keep everyone safe. If the person who's seeking you out is threatening harm to herself or others, don't be afraid to reach out and seek additional help.

It seems we are living in a progressively busy, anxiety-filled world. From political, financial, and societal issues to personal health crisis, all of us need someone with whom we can share our fears, doubts, challenges, and joys. And while I believe Jesus Christ is that person, I also believe He gave some people the gifts of encouragement and wisdom to help others. Use your gifts to edify, exhort, and comfort His people. 


Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously. Aretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images


About Relationships

Today's role for a Christian woman takes many forms working together - mom, sister, wife, home maker, career women, and more. All of these relationships demand your time and attention. At iBelieve.com we want to help you grow in healthy relationships whether you’re single and dating, newlyweds, married or widowed. Find encouragement and feel uplifted with the sharing of personal experiences from women in every walk of the Christian women’s life.